March 9, 2011 10:31AM

Ezra Klein vs. the Secretary of Agriculture

It seems that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack took exception to Ezra Klein's recent blog post on "Why we still need cities". Someone at the USDA emailed Ezra, outlining the Secretary's concerns and to set up a time for the two of them to talk. Ezra took notes during their discussion and, yesterday, posted a "lightly edited" transcript of their conversation.

The Secretary had plenty of the standard talking points on hand -- and some new ones, like the fact that we should support farm subsidies because rural America has good values and farmers don't feel appreciated -- but Ezra expertly took him to task, deftly pushing back on the non-sequiturs, questionable assumptions and enduring myths about the need for farm subsidies.  He even gets in a worthy swipe at sugar tariffs and the "need" to produce all our food in America. Read the entire thing; it is worth your time.

(HT: Justin Logan)